Pine Nuts: Consider the sponge |

Pine Nuts: Consider the sponge

McAvoy Layne
Pine Nuts

My kitchen sponge began to move — on its own. I took my glasses off, wiped them, and replaced them. I had microwaved that sponge to nuke the germs, but apparently failed to irradiate them all, as I watched the survivors walking off with my sponge. I’m not making this up.

I did a little research and discovered a report on this subject by Joanna Klein that confirmed my worst suspicions. The favorite place for a microbe to call home is the kitchen sponge. These little criminals create regular terrorist cells in that sponge, and when they see a chance, they will make a leap from that sponge to your soapy hand, and should you happen to then scratch your nose, well, welcome aboard.

Not one to back down from a microbe, I took my sponge into the garage, laid it on the concrete floor, got down on my hands and knees, and pounded it with a hammer until it was flat as a postage stamp. Then I watched that sponge for a full minute. It didn’t move. I thought I had won. But when I went back into the garage the next morning, the sponge was gone.

So how many microbes do you suppose it takes to walk off with your kitchen sponge? A million? No. A billion? No. There can be 82 billion microbes per cubic inch in a week-old kitchen sponge. I kid you not; look it up.

Support Local Journalism

Ever wonder why your dirty clothes hamper smells like rotten eggs? Moraxella Osloensis. This little devil can jump higher than a flea, and can hop from your kitchen sponge onto your shirtsleeve and bingo into your dirty clothes hamper, where it can emit an odor that will make a dead skunk stand up on his hind legs and take a look around.

I’m not a scientist. I got an F in high school biology when I failed frog pithing, but I can tell you, there is nothing more dangerous in your kitchen than a week-old sponge, unless it might be a banana peel on the kitchen floor.

Today’s health tip from the King of the Kitchen? Remove that soggy old sponge in the sink every Monday morning, and remove it with tongs.

That’s your science pointer for this week from The Curmudgeon of Clemens Cove. “Carpe Spongium!”

Oh, one more thing. Check the “use by” date on everything in your refrigerator. I just did that, and every single item in there is beyond its “use by” date, but then so am I, so what could possibly go wrong.

Every year on Labor Day, I take every item in the fridge that has passed its “use by” date and toss it into an omelet. This high octane omelet takes the place of a flu shot, or at least it did until last year, when I dropped like a stone onto the kitchen floor from something in that omelet that should not have been in there. Get your flu shot, and have a happy, healthy Labor Day weekend.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.